NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Is it possible that Mark Trumbo could return to the Mariners after leading the Major Leagues in home runs last year for the Orioles? According to a source, Seattle has had discussions with the free-agent first baseman's representatives during the Winter Meetings this week at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, though no deal appears imminent.
ESPN's Jim Bowden reported Tuesday night that the Mariners were in "serious talks" with the free-agent slugger, though the source said "serious" might be overstating the situation at this point. The club has not confirmed the discussions.
But just the fact the Mariners have expressed interest in the 30-year-old is intriguing, given that general manager Jerry Dipoto has twice traded away Trumbo -- prior to the 2014 season with the Angels and last year from the Mariners.
Trumbo hit 47 home runs and was an American League All-Star in '16, when he posted a .256/.316/.533 line with 108 RBIs in 159 games. He hit .263 with 13 home runs and 41 RBIs in 96 games with Seattle in '15 after being acquired midseason from the D-backs by previous GM Jack Zduriencik.
Dipoto then dealt Trumbo to the Orioles for backup catcher Steve Clevenger last offseason. Trumbo now has a qualifying offer from Baltimore, which would mean Seattle would forfeit its first-round Draft pick -- currently the No. 18 overall selection -- if it signs him.
The Mariners' reported interest in Trumbo comes on the heels of reports that the Orioles had pulled back a previous four-year offer to re-sign him.
But Dipoto is trying to make the Mariners more athletic in the outfield, so it would seem Trumbo would only fit with Seattle as a first baseman. The club currently expects to go with a first-base platoon of rookie left-hander Daniel Vogelbach and Danny Valencia, who was acquired by trade from the A's last month.
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.